I’ve been using Orkut for sometime now and I must say that i find it pretty impressive. I have tried a few other such networking sites but they are either too garish or full of people just waiting to bombard you with crappy messages.
Here’s why I like Orkut –
- I like the full page layout. They make use of the entire page and the design adjusts according to the resolutions that one uses.
- Entry is by invitation only. No one can just register. You need to be invited by an Orkut member to have yourself roped in there. So there are less chances of being spammed and contacted by pranksters. You need to register with your Gmail a/c and can access the same with a few clicks.
- Simple and clean. If you like plain, non cluttered pages, then orkut is good. They don’t have ads as yet, may be just one but I think it won’t be too long till they get more sponsors and flash ads.
- Scrap! Some sites call it ‘The Wall’, some call it ‘Guest Book’…Orkut calls it scrap. They have a scrap feature which allows any orkut member to post or read a message on someones or anyones scrap. This is more like an instant message if you are chatting with a friend real time, online. An added plus point is that you can delete the scrap you receive or write incase you want to.
- Block and ignore features. If some member annoys you then you have the option of blocking him. Neat, ain’t that!
- Members can be rated as Cool, trustworthy, etc and grouped into Friends, Acquaintances, Have not met, etc. categories determining your proximity to the particular member.
- Besides scraps, Orkut has a mail box i.e. messages. This works almost similar to a mailbox, though some work is needed to polish this feature.
- Testimonials to show how much you love or hate a particular person is another interesting feature of Orkut. Again, Orkut gives you the option to accept or reject the testimonial written.
- Teasers, bookmarks, crush-lists….these things work well with the bacha party but are a valuable feature.
- Ability to make or join a group. Orkut has some wonderful groups/forums on a wide range of topics. Get into a group and join the discussion.
- Easy to use and access. Scores well on the usability front – design, layout, use of language, features. Everything is just a click away and makes sense.
- Features like Media – but I haven’t used it so I can’t comment much on it.
But here’s also why I dislike or maybe not like Orkut too much-
- My message counter always shows me 3 messages as unread although there are NO messages. If I do have read messages then the message counter says ‘6 unread messages’. Weird! Should file that as a bug!
- Scrap book is open to all. Incase you want messages to be sent only to a few people or don’t want everyone to read the messages, this acts as a big drawbck.
- The mail box itself is a bit confusing. Like I’ve said earlier, more work is needed on this.
- I’m so blue! The look is too blue. Perhaps, they could come up with some exciting themes or features to customize orkut. Not too much, just a little bit.
That’s all in my review about Orkut. I discussed these features with a few other users and they also voted for Orkut amongst many other sites.